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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Washington 48, Us 35, Starbucks 8, Boehner 7, U.s. 7, Jack Jacobs 7, Usaa 6, Michael 6, America 6, Brian Sullivan 6, Volkswagen 5, Maureen Dowd 5, Jacobs 5, Massachusetts 4, Cliff 4, Citi 4, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 4, Scott Brown 4, John Boehner 4, New York 4,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    December 28, 2012
    3:00 - 6:00am PST  

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all right. at top of show, we asked, why are you awake? your trusty producer has some answers. john? >> we got mad, because it's freezing. i'm smoking marijuana. >> okay. >> no sleep, so playing halo until "way too parenthesis 39-year-old mom of two. >> you're smoking medical marijuana over here and you're playing halo over there. you should come together and
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make a run to taco bell. is it just me? thanks very much for suffering through another way too early with me. i do appreciate it. "morning joe" begins right now. it's a hard job. it's an awesome responsibility. right now i've got the lives of over 150,000 american men and women in my hands. i don't want to make a mistake. i'm human, and i recognize that i might. and i worry about that. regardless of the outcome, if when this whole thing is over i can say to myself, you gave it your best shot, then that's got to be enough. >> good morning. it's he friday, december 28th.
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on set with us the co-host of "sfreet signs" is brian sullivan who just showed up here. president of the national action network is rev raend al sharpton and fortune editor lee gallagher in washington, vice president and executive director of msnbc.com. that was general norman swa schwartzkopf you saw on your screen who passed away yesterday. i have a lasting memory of general schwartzkopf who served in the war in vietnam as well as leading gulf storm one. there was a woman from iowa. her name was peg mullen. she wrote a book about the death of her son, michael mullen. the name of the book was "friendly fire." norman schwartzkopf was the battalion commander. he was so approachable to peg
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mullen, so human in his relations with peg mullen, who sought to find out how her son was killed in vietnam. he died from friendly fire, which, you know obviously meant he was killed within the confines of his own unit by shrapnel from american weapons fired. it was so impressive to read about then a colonel later to become norm an schwartzkopf general "time" magazine's man of the year who was so human. just that clip we just showed right then compared to a lot of military officials who we see on tv. an actual human being would could say i hope i don't make a mistake. things like that. interesting, at least to me. >> i think very interesting. i grew up -- i was in high school in part of the anti-vietnam protest, so he was a symbol.
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you kind of respected him. as you grew holder, you learned that you can politically be different and still respect the man. he was the kind of guy that would give you that feeling and stature that you would not get from a lot of generals. he also seemed to have a more human side. >> i agree with it. we'll have colonel jack jcake cobs in a bit. he knew general schwartzkopf fairly well. he'll join us on the phone in a few minutes. unfortunately, we deal with incompetent. this afternoon president obama whim wil set down with congressional leaders at the white house for a last ditch effort to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. the hope is both sides can agree to a compromise to prevent the economy from sliding back into recession. judging from the rhetoric on capitol hill, there's a long way to go. here's the day on the hill. >> if we go over the cliff we'll be left with the knowledge that
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could have been prevented with a single vote in the republican-controlled house of representatives. the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker not allowing the vast majority of the house representatives to get what they want. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> it is somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, i'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what i want done. you don't want to shoot your child. there's no republican leader that wants to default on our debt that i've talked to, so that ought to be a nonpartisan
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issue. >> i think there's still a chance to get something done. so, you know, these deals usually come together at the last moment. that happened in the budget deal and debt ceiling deal. i think that will happen again. >> why are you cautiously optimistic when everybody is saying we're going over the cliff? >> to paraphrase ronald reagan, there's so many manure around here, there has to be pony someplace. i think common sense takes over. nobody wants the taxes on 98% of the american people to go up. >> richard wolf, you are in washington d.c., the capital of incompetent this morning. >> yeah. >> senator reid used a phrase that has nothing to do with being a republican or democrat at this stage, i don't think, for a lot of people. the phrase he used is the american people don't understand blah, blah, blah what's going on. the american people i would submit don't understand how these people cannot do their jobs that they're elected to.
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so i'm wondering what's your take on what's going on in washington? you're sitting in washington. >> right. the at least we have bipartisan agreement it's all nuts, right? everyone agrees this is ridiculous and in spite of what they say, they've been talking about it for months and years and there was ample talk about what a framework should be through the election, which wasn't that long ago. there's plenty of debate. to tie the two stories we have been talking wiabout together, there was a colin powerful doctrine that general schwartzkopf executed so well in the first gulf war. which was have an exit strategy and using overwhelming force. this congress had an exit strategy. they had the idea of overwhelming force, and they set themselves these limits. if they got through this deadline the pain would be so great on themself -- this is self-imposed -- they would find a way out. they have not executed their own strategy and been able to vote for their own leadership. what you have in washington just
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to take a step back here, what you have in washington is fundamentally a republican party at war with itself. you have democrats who feel that they don't need to negotiate because they won an election. while both of those situations may be understandable, the system has broken down fundamentally. we have to go over the cliff and see taxes rise, and then maybe, maybe they'll understand that they're there working for the american people and not for themselves. >> i don't think that will happen. according to the study it has taken a toll on the consumer confidence. a new survey shows consumer confidence leveling in the first half of december falling to the lowest level since august. an unexpectedly sharp decline. they say consumer anxiety stems from the country's fiscal future, not from the current state of the economy. let me ask you. you walk around a lot. does anybody, say, what's the story on the fiscal cliff, or
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can you believe these bozos in washington? >> the bozos in washington is what i'm more often asked about. what really bothers me is when you look at the fact that people that are depending on unemployment insurance and people worried about payroll taxes going up. everyone acts like that's not a big thing. there will not be an immediate impact. there will be some immediate impact for some people, which is why you have consumer confidence down. there are investors and people deeming with the debt start to see i increase my interest because these guys can't run a government, you're looking at going toward a recession where we're playing politics in washington. this is very serious. this is not just beltway rhetoric here. i think that people need to understand to the point of calling their congressional representative in outrage today saying, we should not be at this
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point. they're playing politics with the actual livelihood of families. this is not something that it will be all right a week or two or three or four. we start to go down that cliff, we don't know whether the momentum downward is going to be very, very damaging. >> yeah. >> maybe. >> you got na smirk on your face. >> maybe. i agree with the reverend that they're playing politics with livelihoods, because it is a huge risk. you're right about that. i disagree a little bit on the sort of dramatic, immediate impact of it. what we could get -- this is a possibility, and i'm trying to be optimistic because it's towards the end of the year. it's been crummy for a lot of people. we could get a deal the third week of january where they could retro actively change it. if you you get paid weekly, you might get one or two pay economics with a he slight tax increase and get it back at the end of the year. that's what we can hope for. we don't want to say mid nitd on
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12 identify 31 we're doomed and everyone will stop spending. let's hope even if we go over the january 1st deadline that they're able to make a deal and then just make it retroactive back to january 1. it's spooky. >> what you don't get an unemployment economic? janua check in january? >> i'm being optimistic. i hope i'm wrong. i'm usually wrong. we'll get a dial on that part and the tax part. then we can focus on spending and some of the other stuff. >> we hope. >> how do we know it's weeks and not months? the p basic fablts won't change. >> we have the debt ceiling and other thing. we have other things to get up done, otherwise the rating agencies will whack the credit rating more. no one can handle it that. >> never mind the ratings agencies, when it comes to the debt limit, every six months to a year they go through this charade to the debt limit. the impact that is having on
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wall street, on the stock market, on people in business who look at these fools in washington, no one could run their business the way they run the business of the united states government. it taking a terrible toll on us. >> that's true. i think if d.c. was a private corporation, it would have been bankrupt and extiblt a long time ago. >> if it was a private corps, nobody would need to worry about re-election. >> that's true also. >> the thing is richard mentioned overwhelming force, and i think there's one moment of overwhelming force and i think that's a dramatic drop in the stock market. i don't see how that doesn't happen, and tha may be what gives us the urgency. remember in september 2008 when the house failed to pass the t.a.r.p. deal. we had a 771-point drop. i'm not saying that's going to happen. given this buildup, given that now the shakiness has translated, what's happened is it shifted from business, from ceos to consumers. that's what we see right now. now it's in the mass populous.
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>> i want your audience to go get a cup of coffee, preferably starbucks because i'm going to bore the heck out of you. there used to be a bond vigilanties. basically the debt market is bigger than the stock market. whenever things got out of whack, the debt market would fix it. >> zzz. >> i know. they would sell u.s. debt and force change that way. now the federal reserve owns most of the debt, so the bound vigilanties have been new tered. >> that was a very clear way of explaining that. >> now everybody can go back to sleep in america. i wanted to tuck people back in. >> is jack jacobs on the phone? let's take a pause. >> i put colonel jacobs back to sleep. >> no one can put colonel jacobs to sleep. he's hyperactive.
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as we indicated earlier in the show, a long-time friend, sometimes under ling of general norm an schwartzkopf. colonel jacobs, i was mentioning at the top of the show that the impact that general schwartzkopf, then colonel schwartzkopf had on me from an incident in vietnam that a woman in iowa, peg mullen, wrote about in a book called the "friendly fire" about the death of her son a young army private. general schwartzkopf was the army commander and he was so human and approachable to mrs. mullen. it was impressive. clearly he was an impressive guy. tell us your thoughts and memories of general sworts co h schwartzkopf. >> he was an impressive guy. i he met him when i whe was a mr and i was a lieutenant. i had an unpleasant experience with him during which i was
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trying to exercise my authority and responsibility. he is a higher ranking guy telling me, no, i he wasn't going to do it. i lost. it was a fair fight, even though he's three times my size. he's a really tough guy. one of the interesting things about him that is unfortunately not practiced frequently in the military or anywhere else, by the way, is that he always led from the front sometimes recklessly, and the mistakes that we all make in combat from time to time and we've all made our share, him included, is that we have a tendency to miscalculate. we go left instead of right. we wait too long and don't wait long enough for ninformation. he made mistakes like that, too. you could never accuse norman
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schwartzkopf sitting back and letting other people do the work. all the time i knew him, he led from the front. one characteristic that he tried to teach all of people who worked for him most of the time successfully. the second characteristic that he had that is also infrequently acquired by people both in the military, in government, in business is that he worked very hard to surround himself with the best people he possibly could. a lot of people don't do that, didn't do that. they were afraid that they would in comparison look weak or in t inept. schwartzkopf's con secept was y had to do the best job you could. if there were people around you, subordinate to you who looked better than you do, looked smarter than you did, that was
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just fine as long as they told you, the commander, the truth and got you to do the best job you could. those two lessons weren't lost on anybody who was anywhere near him. >> jack, i'm really stunned to find out that you had perhaps just an instant where you had problems with authority. i mean, you've never indicated you've had a problem with authority when i speak to you. it gets to something you just mentioned, if you could draw it out a bit as we head toward a break here. the general's sense of humanity and compassion toward anyone, whether you were a private in the army or the president of the united states, he was an approachable guy and an understanding human being. >> yeah. he was one of these people you could always talk to. he did something, again, which is infrequent. that is he didn't force himself on people, but he made himself available by being -- spending his time not in the conference room, not in meetings but spent
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time with troops. he went down to meet them where they were. he jumped the chain of command to get the information he needed in order to make his decisions. in one case in vietnam and getting out of his helicopter and loading wounded people on the helicopter so that the helicopter would go back to an aid station. he himself stayed on the ground with his troops while his helicopter made the transfer of wounded people to an aid station. tough guy. a very, very tough guy, but hard and crusty on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside once you got to know him. >> thanks very much for joining us. still ahead on "morning joe," the ranking member of the house budget committee, chris val hole len and uyeen robinson and jean
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chatzky and dr. emily senay with a look at what could mean big penalties for hospitals. bringing us together again up next, mike allen with the political playbook. here's dylan dryer with a check on the forecast. >> we're talking about more snow in the northeast. this time around this is not a big storm, maybe a few inches. winter storm advisories are posted from northern arkansas right through tennessee and up into the mid-atlantic region. where is the storm right now? through louisiana and arkansas bringing mostly rain to the area. as it moves eastward it will wrap into colder air. the bulk of the storm is it staying offshore. it looks like rain along the immediate coastline from cape cod, massachusetts down into southern new jersey. that dark shade of purple is where we could see 3 to 5 inches. you you go inland further away from the storm and it looks like 1 to 3 inch. just enough to make it slippery
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for the weekend. today looks real nice across the northeast. we'll dry it out and look for sunshine and a little chilly but it's the end sdechl after all. that's your latest forecast. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. this family used capital one venture miles
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i have an idea. let's look at the morning papers. do you want to do that? >> great idea. >> dallas morning news. russia is banning all u.s. adoptions of russian children. president putin signed the bill this morning. passed after the u.s. moved to punish russian human rights violators, some 60,000 russian orphans have found american homes over the last two decades. i do not get na story. >> stupid. give a child a home no matter where in the world. the sacramento bee hundreds of
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teachers in utah are getting privately trained use handguns in the wake of sandy hook shootings. other states are going farther. arizona's attorney general proposing to change the state law that would allow an educator in each school to carry a gun. the "l.a. times," the city of los angeles collected more than -- this story is unbelievable. they collected more than 2,000 firearms part of a guns for groceries buyback program. 75 assault weapons were included in that and two rocket launchers were turned in for cash. >> they got steak and shrimp for the rocket launchers. what about teachers with guns in classrooms? >> i mean, it's amazing to me. i had randy wine gart ten of the american federation of teachers on my show last night. it's outrageous to me on two levels. one, you're going to put more guns into schools it to try to deal with getting guns out of
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the school. you don't have money for students. you don't have money for sports and arts. you don't have money for anything you need in school, but you're going to find money to buy guns, bullets and training for teachers? where did the conservatives come up with this money from? how, if you had an armed teacher, would that have solved newtown? it would have made that teacher the first target. you had armed people in columbine and virginia tech, and it still happened. it's the most nonsensue cal distraction. >> aim a virginia tech graduate. we had armed guards and our own police force, and it still didn't stop it. >> conventional wisdom says you shouldn't have guns in your home with young children. here we talk about tons of young children in schools. bring more guns into these institutions. >> it's crazy. >> it defies logic. >> the austin american statesman, the man credited for
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stopping the university of texas sniper shootings has passed away. in 1966 charles whitman killed 14 people and wounded 32 more on ut's campus before he was stopped by police officer houston mccoy. mccoy passed away yesterday at the age of 72. in an interview with the paper, mccoy said he does not want what he did that day to define him. i remember that day as vividly as if it were last week. i mean, there's something truly sad about our culture that we have these tombstones of memory in our mind so horrific. we have newtown, columbine, virginia tech, charles whitman, and we had stockweather in nebraska years ago. it goes on and on. change the topic. >> let's go on and on. the "new orleans times-picayune," lisa jackson
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the head of the epa announced yesterday she will step down after the state of the union. she was the first african-american heading up the epa. she did spend plenty of time sparring with congressional republicans and industry groups over issues like global warming and the keystone palestiipeline. >> i worked with lisa jackson on issues. i think she could have got a lot more done if we didn't have the partisan battle back and forth over what her role was and what the epa was there for and the keystone pipeline as well as what she's trying to do with greenhousing. i think she was very effective and aggressive, and it's going to be a loss to the country. she's a very, very worthy public servant. >> chemical engineer and young. i'm sure she has a bright future. >> no doubt about that. she'll be in the public view for a long time. >> sounds like you know
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something. tune in tonight to find out. the "wall street journal," apple ceo cook's combination hit 4.2 million and last year it was $367 million. i don't know how he will eat. >> parade features al roker of the "today" show. check that out this weekend. right now once again bringing us together writing come together on the side of his eyeglasses and coffee cups and anything else he can find, our own white house correspondent for politico mike allen. mike, how are you? >> happy friday. >> there we go, happy friday. listen, this fiscal cliff deal, everyone is so sick of hearing the phrase. i it talked to several this week, members of congress and members of the senate who indicate we're going over the cliff.
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they say it won't be that bad. don't worry about it. there's something in me that wonders about the psychological impact of just going right over. >> mike, you're right. they are saying that, and there's a real risk especially in the white house. they know that the reaction of the markets, especially overseas, the credit raters is unpredictable. you don't want to start your second term with a double-dip recession. that's the real risk here. for republicans more and more you hear them saying and i think this is what you're refer to here. you hear them saying, let's just wait until people get their first paycheck. wait until they get that pay economic when there's less withheld and there's not a payroll tax holiday but then they want tax relief. it's a huge risk. another political game at play here. sherman has a great story on the sight right there giving the thought bubbles for both sides. if we go over the cliff, here's
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why. here's why they think, as you suggest, it's okay to go over the cliff. the story basically boils down to saying, they're crazy, but they're not dumb. it's very irresponsible, given the potential outdock and unknowns, but here's what they think politically. what we see is a confident president and a defensive republican caucus. the president, he won one on this issue as they tell you. the polling shows they will blame republicans. why should he cut what he considered a bad deal? republicans say the president s is -- has played -- overplayed his hand, and they think eventually people will want to keep the bush tax cuts. that assumes that noog bad happens in the economy, which they could both be blamed for. that's why we have the president flying back from hawaii.
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that's why we have republicans coming in on sunday even though neither side expects it to change any. the great line in this story, the talking bint it they have is the lines of communication remain open, but all are reporting that the lines of communication may remain open but they're not saying anything. they're negotiating out loud. it's like when you send an e-mail and put your boss on it or copy the whole office. you're not trying to persuade but make your point. >> i'll never do that. richard wolf, are you still awake down there. >> i am. i go to starbucks. >> let me ask you this unearned sense of optimism that seeps out between talk of going over the cliff. we'll go over the cliff but get a deal done within the next two weeks after january 1st. why am i thinking maybe they won't get a deal done? >> right. why? because you watched these idiots
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try to come up with a deal sore. they didn't have an agreement with the recovery act and republicans didn't want to step up then. we're talking about two separate problems rilt now. there's the longer term federal deficit and then the shorter term impact on the economy. we'll have that first, right? the markets will go down and economic confidence will continue to slide. money will be taken out of the economy. so there's an economic impact right now. why should they deal with this crisis when the bigger crisis they couldn't come together tlen. sorry starbucks. they didn't come together before either. what do you do about deficits? the truth is doing nothing at this point is the best impact they can have on deficits, because taxes will go up, spending will go down. that's the point of this deal. so to come to your point, yeah, i guess they could suddenly hug each other and do had this dance, but the reality is there are a lot of people who think, what we are dealing with is deficits because the budget looks better and we'll deal with
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the economy some other way. >> doing nothing is what they do best. mike, before we let you go, ed mackey malden running for the united states senate in massachusetts. >> he's never run statewide. do you agree with this? i think scott brown is smiling this morning? i think a race against ed markey well-known in washington, respected here and has taken strong positions on climate change and other issues. he's not a household name in massachusetts. scott brown is. there's a totally different electorate in this special election. scott brown likes this match upup. mike, would you call him the favorite, or does that go too far? >> i think he'll have multiple candidates in that field because several other members of the congress might rung because they risk nothing. they don't risk the congressional seats. ed mackey malden has been there are a long time. but i think scott brown has a small smile on his face. thanks very much. happy weekend. brian, you going to do sports?
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>> i'm going to do sports. i like how you say markey. >> he always introduces him from massachusetts. >> coming up, the jets find out that greg mcelroy will back up once again. so is it tebow time in noshz? >> let me take a guess. >> first off, you're not going to believe this one. i'm going to start mark sanchez. >> not. no love for tebow. we'll show you what he has to say about it next in sports. hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature.
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i love that photo, because right in that picture you were thinking, why am i the only one at fenway? >> i know. you were there on the wrong day, admit it. >> that often happens at my age. there's no game today? there's no game? >> no wonder i got a good seat. >> he's usually up a little higher, reverend. >> it's a night game sxnt a day game. >> let's do friday sports now where the jets game of musical quarterback continues. mcelroy has concussion-like symptoms so you would think it's tebow time, right?
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you'd be wrong, right? former first stringer mark sanchez gets the nod once again because tebow is at odds with head coach rex ryan and the jets brass after expressing displeasure with his role before last week's game. yesterday they spoke about the decision to give the starting job back to sanchez. >> all right. first off, you're not going to believe this one. i'm going to start mark sanchez, and the reason i'm starting mark is we have two practices and one walk through to get ready for buffalo. mark has had, you know, success earlier in the season against buffalo. he's very familiar with them. i had the conversation with both mark and tim a few minutes ago about what i was going to do. obviously, you know, tim's not happy with that. you can expect that. >> i understand, and i tell the coach i definitely understand.
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obviously you're a competitor and you want to play. i understood his decision and just let him know i'll do whatever i can to help the team in any way. >> you know what's amazing about this? outside of the metropolitan new york area nobody cares about this. nobody. >> p but we're sitting in the middle of the metropolitan area. >> you're optimistic, a lot of people in the metropolitan area don't care. >> especially after this season. sanchez had his best game of the season week 1 against the bills. he completed over 70% of passes. people predicted the jets would go undefeated. they were wrong. time for college football now. duke and cincinnati facing off in the always epic belk bowl in charlotte. let's start at the end. the fourth quarter, game tied, 34-34 with a minute and a half left. the ball is loose, and the bearcats recover. they have a chance to win it in the final minute in the ensuing
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cincinnati possession. he fights his tight end and finds him. travis kelsey waddles along and outruns the secondary and goes all the way for an 83-yard td. that's your game winner. bearcats win 48-34. >> the real bowl games begin tonight. >> virginia tech versus rutgers. >> at 5:30 this afternoon. >> i'm going to be awake no matter what. go, hokies. >> 5:30 this afternoon, you you better be awake. up next is the must-read opinion pages. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. maureen dowd is coming up next with the opinion pages.
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the great maureen dowd of the new york tim"new york times" ha the op-ed page of times and the headline was "why god?" it was largely written about her friend father kevin o'neal a catholic priest in washington who began his mini essay within maureen's column by asking the question how does one celebrate christmas with the fresh memory of 20 children and 7 adults ruthlessly murdered in newtown? father o'neal went on to write, first, i do not expect to have all the answers nor do i believe that people are really looking for them. second, i don't look for the hand of god to stop evil. i don't expect comfort to come from afar. i believe god enters the world through us, and even though i have the why questions, they are not so much why god questions. we are human and mortal. we will suffer and die, but how we are with one another in that suffering and dying makes all
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the difference as to whether god's presence is felt or not and whether we are comforted or not. >> it was an amazing column. i read the maureen dowd column christmas morning. that's when it appeared, and i was on my way to harlem to national action headquarters to feed the homeless and victims of violence. it really helped me to deal with that, because a mother there whose 4-year-old son was killed with gun violence, what do you tell people? why did this happen? and he's right. you can't explain it. one, we would be god if we could explain everything. secondly, the presence of god is there with good and bad, and faith is not what you can figure out. faith is not what you can easily he explain or calculate. faith is believing when you can't explain it and when you can't come to a conclusion. i think maureen dowd by having father kevin up do that essay
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did probably the best christmas sermon i've seen in a long time. it was very timely because of newtown. >> yeah. you know, two days before christm christmas sadly i attended the funeral of a 26-year-old magnificent young woman that died of cancer. another jesuit stood up in the pulpit and raised the issue of suffering. that we know what suffering is and we're surrounded by suffering. he said, don't try to define suffering or find out where it comes from. no one has ever been able to come up with with that answer. no one ever will, which gets to your point. >> that's right. i think that sometimes we find ourselves trying to grapple with things and come with answers to things that there's no answer to. we feel like something is wrong with us, when it's just part of life. there are things beyond our understanding. that's why st. paul, if i could
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be preacher-like, you have to find a peace beyond understanding. i think that's what really coming to it terms with whatever your beliefs are where you can come to piece with the fact that there are some things beyond you but you proceed in life anyway. i lost my mother this year in march, and i proceeded to go to florida and deal with the trayvon martin case the day i heard she had died because i had to find that there was this realm of peace that you can function even in your pain. i mean, going back to sports, the greatest athletes learn how to keep going and even continue playing beyond their pain. that's what life is is. >> that's such a great point. there was a really great blog post after newtown, and it was posted by a reverend and five things you shouldn't say about god in a time like this. one was, it was all about how we look for answers. a lot of people will say god just needed another angel. this reverend pointed out, don't
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say that. that doesn't happy the grieving parents, and also that's not necessarily a sign of your faith. don't stay that unless you're god basically. it was a very interesting post, and it made that same point as the reverend just made. there are some things that are beyond understanding, and you have to just find peace somehow, as hard as athat may be. >> my best friend i've said this closest thing i had to a brother passed away three years ago, brain cancer, three kids, wife. he was the most religious guy i knew, you know. he had revivalist meetings in his home on sundays and they played music and his dad sort of semi officiated my wedding. he was taken three years ago by brain cancer, and he fought valiantly. he even made a trip to israel while he was fighting this. he enldeddded up losing his bat but he was comforted in the end by this. i went to see him shortly before he passed on, and he gripped my
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hand. he couldn't talk, you know, but he gripped my hand like to tell me it was going to be okay. >> it is almost a universal, though, when it comes to suffering and dying that people -- many, many people shrug their shoulders and look towards the heaven and say why, god, are you doing this when it's not god at all. it's no pun intended. it's part of life. >> you know, we at some point have to come to the reality that death is certain and life is uncertain. we all try to live like we can avoid it. death is certain. it's going to happen. we all have a funeral scheduled. we just don't know the date, so if you resolve that that is part of the process and that you live every moment toward some higher purpose, towards some contribution and quit trying to avoid what is unavoidable.
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you begin getting closer to that peace and good and bad happens in all of our lives. that's part of what life is. the bad makes the good better, and the good prepares you for the bad. >> i like that. bad make the good better. i like that. >> so don't start crying on the air, i'm going to bring it back to business a little bit am we're going to wait and get the retail data soon, and early indications are it's not a great number. people are saying, well, the fiscal cliff, and i'm sure that's part of it. sandy is a part of it. i think there's a part of it, too, and this is just anecdotal myself and some friends i talked about. when you had what happened in newtown, shortly before christmas, you know, in the new year and hanukkah and you start to think, what is it all about, right? i think it's brought at least some of my friends have -- they've shopped less. is that a good thing? i'm not making a judgment on what people do with the economy. i know we need to sell things.
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that's how the economy moves on, but i think people have maybe to your point, reverend, reflected a little more. listen, it's been a crap year, okay? i'm sorry for the language. with these types of shootings, aurora, colorado, hurricane sandy, droughts in the midwest, people losing their farms. it's been a very difficult year for a lot of people, and i think maybe this season people were nesting a little more and reflecting on what was important for them in a good way. >> people were still in shock. >> you're not going to run to the malls a week after -- newtown will not leave us ever. >> well, i mean, you see 20 babies being buried, 7 adults, and you don't say, let's go to the mall and shop. >> bingo. >> and especially people that have parents. imagine those parents watching kids going under the tree like i experienced with this lady in harlem, every kid that went under the tree reminds her of a
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4-year-old boy who was in the park playing and got killed in a stray bullet between a gunfight. i think it was time for us to reflect. but i also think it's time to look at what we should be doing. we too often look and say why god. often god looks back and this what are you doing about it? why don't you do something to stop the newtown, whatever it is you do. that's the way we have to take the challenge of what we are on earth for rather than questioning god. >> also center to savor the moment and savor who you are and savor your children and the smile you might have in the morning. be grateful for the fact you get up today. >> that's right. >> and drew a breath, bauecause you're head on the day if you did. four days left of fiscal cliff talks. wow. coming up we tall to chris val hollen about the state of the negotiations. "morning joe" will be right back. oh it's clearance time!
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coming up next, t"the washington post" eugene robinson joins the conversation along with "time" magazine's rana. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self?
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if we go over the cliff, we'll be left with the knowledge that could have been prevented with a single vote in a republican-controlled house of representatives. the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago.
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republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> it is somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, i'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what i want done. you don't want to shoot your child. there's no republican leader that wants to default on our debt that we've talked to, so that ought to be nonpartisan. >> oh, steny could have come up with a better met it at that for than that. that was senator reid and mcconnell and congressman hoyer in washington. brian sullivan is here and refuse rend al sharpton and richard wolf on assignment and joining us on set is rana and in
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washington eugene robinson. gene, thanks for getting dragged out of bed this morning. what was your initial reaction watching that clip of those three guys talking about this thing? >> you know, where are we? my initial feeling was this isn't going anywhere, and we have to go over the cliff and then they'll fix it. that's amy initial reaction. it doesn't sound like there's anything productive happening, if that's what everybody is still saying about the state of the negotiations. there don't seem to be any real negotiations. >> i have to say, i ought thought this is exactly where we'd be right now. in the beginning i couldn't believe it. >> why did you think that? >> because she's smarter than you. >> i middle east everybody is. >> i called up our washington bureau chief who is smart. right after the elections when everybody started, markets actually went up. there was a lot of positive talk
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in the beginning, and i thought for sure we'll get a deal. as i say i called michael duffy, and he's like we're definitely going over. what are you talking about? he said, which i agree with, we have to have a political reset. you have to die to be reborn. you have to change what people are talking about. we go over, fingers crossed for a short time. republicans can start talking about lowering taxes. the democrats can perhaps get a better deal out of this whole thing. i really think that's what's going to happen. the big question is is it going to be two or three weeks? if it's back and forth and back and forth. >> is there anything to it that we're going over. maybe we'll call it the fiscal baptism. is that what we're talking about? going over so the politicians vote to lower taxes? >> look, that is what's so bad about this, brian. we are so political that we're not weighing what it does to
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people's lives and the risk factor. we are trying to calculate, it may not be that bad. once you go over a cliff, you don't know how bad it's going to be, and how long it's going to take given the politics. i remember after the election the president met with progressive leaders. i was in the meeting. i believe the republicans were not -- if he gave things many of us felt we shouldn't put in social security, if he did that we'll get a deal. i cannot believe people are going to be as incense activces they were p the lives of their constituents. >> when you go over a cliff, you've seen old roadrunner cartoons, it's fun for the first few seconds and realize there's gravity and fall like wiley e. coyote. >> the crash kind of gets your
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attention. >> exactly. here's one thing that will be different after we go over the cliff, and i got foose that's more likely than not now. there will be a new election for speaker of the house, presumably john boehner will be re-elected. there will be a different house of representatives. however, still a republican majority but a small er majorit. boehner has a newly affirmed position and perhaps the dynamic is a bit different. but, you know, then again maybe it will be the same as it's been the last couple of years. >> richard, you know what i think bothers some people bothers me. it's that there is a small segment it seems of the republican caucus in the house of representatives who were unable to accept the results of the election in 2008 and steamed to continue to be unable to
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accept the results of the election in 2012. thus, they feel they have a license to hold the country hostage because they don't agree with two presidential elections, which is truly, truly if you think about it enough, which i choose not to, is rather bothersome. >> it's bothersome, and it doesn't fit their own agenda. in addition to object structure things they want to keep taxes down for most americans. it's not just about the tea party republicans, okay? the republican leadership, mitch mcconnell and john boehner and the whole rest of them made an unholy alliancalliance. they said instead of watching the tea party rise up and become a third force in american politics, which is what says, they said we're going to try to bind these two things together. we don't wants it to sflit apart the right. we try to pretend like we're one party. they're clearly not one party. john boehner may get re-elected
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as speaker, but he has no more authority to control the caucus to get them to stroet for his own budget proposals than he does today. the optics may change and we'll go over the cliff and taxes go up and they're presented with the ability to lower taxes and john boehner won't have any authority because he tries to run two parties and not one. until republicans deal with na and until the leadership says we made a mistake, these are a different group of people and have darch the agenda for us, they stop us taking national power. until that happens, we'll be in the mess for a another couple of years at least. >> i totally agree with that. i think this ideological split in the republican party is going to continue no matter who is speaker, but meanwhile, you know, reverend, back to your point about who is going to suffer, i want to bring up the fact that on december 31st emergency unemployment benefits are out the window. those are the most vulnerable
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americans. they have no safety net left. also, the payroll tax is going to go up. you know, people keep talking about this as a slope and not a big deal. it takes a while for the full impact fob felt. we ransom numbers and to give you a sense of perspective on this, a family with two working parentses making $82,000 a year. all the tax hikes they experience, it will add $6,000 a year to the tax bill. that's not nothing. that hurts people in the middle. >> in addition, we get the consumer confidence stuff. according to a recent study, the fiscal cliff gridlock in washington has taken a tol. a new survey by the conference board shows levels in the first half of december falling to the lowest level since august. an unexpectedly sharp decline. the survey indicates that consumer anxiety stems from worries about the fiscal future and not from the current state of the economic.
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>> that's completely true. if you look at a lot of economic indicators they're good. the housing market is stabilizes and unemployment is ticks down. companies that have a lot of cash on balance sheets, but this december drop in can confidence, it's hard to think about what this would be about, if not the cliff. >> it's what you said. if you noted you may face thousands of dollars in increases if you're a married couple in taxes, if you're existing on unemployment insurance that may not be there in january, why would you go on a shoppi ping spree or shopping all if you can avoid it? people keep saying, well, it won't be that bad for long. that's according to how long you have money. if you're middle class to working poor and have little savings, a little while is all you have. i don't think people have that reality. >> in terms of the market reaction, is there a possibility
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that this is already been at least partly written down and that people can see how dysfunctional washington is. people can see, you know, approval rating for congress is, you know, down it to friends and family basically. you got to worry about the friends. i think the friends may bail out. >> i was going to say. >> have the markets say they're not going to get it together, so maybe we don't have a huge crash after all. >> no, it's no. it's absolutely no. there's a total split between wall street and washington on this. i wrote a column on this topic, because i think that the view from new york and washington is really, really different the. markets can't believe that we're not looking at our long-term future. they can't believe that politicians are going to let us go into recession and see first quarter earnings fall. they can't get their brains around that. they don't understand how things
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work in the beltway. that's why i had a hard time as someone that covers markets seeing what was going to happen and go over the cliff. >> i aagree with you. i think the markets are a discounting mechanism. gene, to your point, most people think a deal will be reached at some point. maybe after jan 1 and retroactive and pinch in the near term. most of the people in the financial markets believe a deal will get done. number twosh, the stock market holding up better because the world is reinvesting in the united states. not to go too off topic shgts but the american retail investor is gone for a couple of year. the world is slows down and we're looking better. so capital is is flowing back for the united states. i think that's helping the real concern out there in the stock market. we could think brazil and chinese and european investors for holding us afloat. >> you know who has been gone a while and is back now? kelly o'donnell.
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she's with us right now. kelly, how angry -- i use that phrase angry instead of another phrase -- are the members of congress or specifically in the senate to be back in washington on the eve of new year's day for this ludicrous exercise in nothingness it appears. >> reporter: they've been conditioned over the last few years that haul days seem to equate with deadlines, which means they somehow end up here. there is a sense of frustration because for members coming back, if there isn't anything to vote on or being look at, they're in study hall if you will. that comes with the territory, and they know they have to do that. what's more encouraging is i talked to sources that said at a very senior level the top negotiators taxed by the white house and capitol hill to work on this deal have been talking, have been looking for ways where they could come up a little here, move around a little there, the typical part of
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negotiating. when you have a meeting like this afternoon which is seeing the president and congressional leaders sitting down together, it is an encouraging sign. there's a resignation around here it may go past january 1st, but there's a soberness among the leadership that there are real world consequences and they don't want to do things that are avoidable and it's hard to bring people along sometimes when you have deeply divided principal different views over really what government should be doing and spends is a big fight, of course. the tax rates are a big fight. there's so many other elements in whatever the deal might be. we were talking earlier this morning about long-term unemployment benefits. there are doc fix in washington referring to the flefl which physicians get paid for medicare patients. lots of complicated stuff. every bit of it matters to constituents and different groups. i think one of the things that the public could do is if you want a deal, then make sure
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you're not taking out on the members if they do reach a compromise. one of the grave concerns is will they be beaten the up by opponents, but outside groups and donors if they take a vote that hurting them politically. that's a big pressure against getting something done too soon. >> what are the logistics of the exercise this weekend. the senate is in session in washington. the house is not in session. so members of congress are not in washington. is that correct? >> the senate is at work on other end of year hinges like extra funding for superstorm sandy. they deal with working on the wireless surveillance from the bush era, reauthorizing that. the senate floor is active with a the lot of other things they have to get done. the house will come back on sunday and be in session on sunday. they were told to be prepared to go through january 2nd when their term ends. there are a lot of members who aren't coming back in january. there will be that transition. when you walk around here, mike,
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you have boxes in hallways, office chairs in the hallway. people are moving, so there are members who don't have an office anymore but here to vote to wait on whatever might happen. it's a time of transition. we were looking back. for a lame duck to be back between christmas and new year's, it hasn't happened since nixon was in office. sometimes they come back when it's not an end of term year, but that's a long time. it gives you an idea how unusual it is to spend the holidays right here at capitol hill. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks as always. we appreciate it. >> you bet. >> it's the chairs in the hallway of the department of the members of congress, the chair's iq is higher than a lot of members of congress at this stage. >> pardon me if i don't cry for their holiday being spoiled. imagine what they're doing to the american people. >> i know it. we were talking earlier about the death of general norman schwartzkopf. we talked with jack jacobs about
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it. joining us from washington and host of andrea mitchell reporteds, andrea mitchell. andrea, jack jacobs had some wonderful, warm memories of general schwartzkopf. we were talking about, of course, he was a four-star general but the humanity of the guy and approachability of the guy was a lot different than a lot of flag officers we see in the military. >> absolutely. you talked about peg mullen, the mother who lost her son. that's what comes through. norman schwartzkopf is compared to generals of the last century. he's been lauded by presidents and military leaders as the most celebrated battlefield commander of his generation. nicknamed stormin norm nan for his legendary temper, he was an american original. he used his prewar briefings to try to scare saddam hussein into
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backing down. >> if the iraqis are dumb enough to attack they will pay a terrible price for it. come across that border and come down here. i'm completely confident we'll kick his butt when he gets here. >> when the decision to go to war was made, schwartzkopf was ready with a plan with a sweeping armored movement. former president bush with brian williams last year. >> he came and presented the plan at camp david with it. we asked it be fine tuned, but he was a great soldier. >> commanding 540,000 americans and another 200,000 ally troops in the first war televised in real time, it made him a matinee idol. >> i would call it bovine scatology. the simple fact of the matter is that now every time an iraqi airplane takes off the ground, it's running away. as far as saddam hussein being a
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great military strategist, he is neither a strategist or schooled in the operational art. >> a west point graduate to cracked the lindbergh kidnapping case, he playered football, wrestled and sang in the choir. in vietnam he was wounded twice during two tours of duty. he returned from desert storm a celebrated hero, despite later questions about president bush's decision to end the ground war after 100 hours leaving saddam hussein in power. in recent years elbattled poorl health but will long r remembered as the commanding figure he once was. >> i would be very happy with the history books who said i was a soldier that served his kuntz with honor and loved his troops and loved his family. that's enough for me. >> in a statement president obama called the general an american original who stood tall for the country and the army he loved.
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most poignantly george herbert walker bush issued a statement from his hospital bed in houston. he said, quote, barbara and i mourn the loss of a true american patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. more than that, he was a good and decent man and dear friend said president bush. mike. >> two great men there, george herbert walker bush, who we wish well and hope he gets in better health today down in the hospital in texas, and general schwartzkopf as you pointed out in that piece, a truly unique military leader as well as a human being. andrea, thank you very much for joining us. >> i was going to say, bh you look at athe two leaders, whether they made all the right decisions or not and compare that to today in washington, it's more troubling and speaks better of what they did in that generation. >> yeah. gene, your thoughts on both men? >> well, my thought on general schwartzkopf is i wonder if he's
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not the last of a breed. he's an american general who won a pretty good-sized war and won it. that's not the way our warss end now. we axhooef objechieve objective but we leave messy situations in the second iraq war and afghanistan and future complicates i feel will be more like the recent ones than like the one in which general schwartzkopf prevailed. so there's a sort of end of an era assist picture to today for me. as for former president bush, i just join everyone in wishing him a speedy recovery. his presidency looks so much better in retrospect than many people thought it looked at the time. >> gene and andrea, thanks very much. we appreciate it. rana, stay with us if you can put up with it. with aum the talk of the fiscal
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cliff what will it mean for your pocketbook if we go over it. gene joins us ahead. first we'll and the ranking member what he's doing to keep it from happening. i bet vanhollen is happy about that. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. share everything. share brotherly love.
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joining us from washington co congressman chris van hollen from maryland. he can commute from his home to office every day. what's going to happen today? what good is it going to happen today? can anything good happen today? >> yes, something good can happen today. the president is back at the white house, and he's called the congressional leadership in. there's some signs of possible flexibility, but, first of all, it would be helpful if the house of representatives actually came back to work, number one. and number two, it would be good if our republican colleagues would allow the process to work
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its will. what i mean by that, mike, is simply allow a vote, for example, in the house of representatives on a bill that's already passed the senate to provide tax relief to 100% of american families on their first $250,000 in income. what i think a lot of people don't realize is all we're asking for is an up or down vote. speaker boehner doesn't even have to vote for it. just let the people's housework its will instead of handing over the keys to the most extreme elements in the house republican caucus. >> congressman, richard wolf is in washington with a question for you. >> if mitch mcconnell can cut a deal with harry reid will house republicans meet it. >> thehouse reps were opposed to the deal that their own speaker put forward. it was a deal that he didn't reach with the president.
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tc it was a deal he thought would appeal to house republicans, can she voted no on that. that gets me back to the original people. whatever deal is reached, speaker bayne has to allow the house to vote on it. a lot of people don't realize he's blocking a vote in the house. he's not allowed the majority in the house to take up and pass a bill. instead he implemented this artificial rule that says he won't allow a vote on a he proposal unless at least half of the republicans are in favor of it. when you do that you hand over the keys to the most extreme part of the republican party. that's why harry reid said what he did. because we're not asking for a guardi guarantee this bill pass. we're asking for a vote that it passed the senate to provide tax relief to the middle class. >> congressman that phrase you use, simply allow a vote, it got me thinking about something tip
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o'neal told me years ago about his relationship with ronald reagan, which was nowhere near as friendly as it's been made out to be. they liked each other but weren't dpaktly best friend. speaker o'neal disagreed vehemently with president reagan's policy and ideology. he told me one of the things that allowed him to come together, both of them, both president reagan and speaker o'neal had what they called a respect for the voter. he knew that president reagan had won in 1980 and had been re-elected in 1984, and the speaker had a respect for the voter, for the voter's voice. it seems you say a percentage republicans perhaps with the benign leadership of speaker boehner have not given voice to the respect for the voter by disallowing a simple vote. >> that's exactly right.
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if you apply this artificial rule that speaker boehner app appli applied, you hand veto authority over any agreement or proposal to the most extreme elements of a party. out of 435 members of the house, you're allowing the 25 most extreme republicans to veto a proposal. that's not right. i mean, we should allow the people's house to vote and not allow it to become simply the tea party's house. that's essentially what's happened. so it's really important for people to understand we're not asking for a particular outcome. we'd like to see the senate bill passed, but for now we want to vote. after all, speaker boehner got a vote on his proposal, and his own caucus said no it to it. let's allow a vote on the senate-passed bill that provides tax relief to the vast middle class. 100% of families get tax relief
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on the first 250,000 in income, and folks over 250,000 in income would see an increase of about 4% on the income above 250,000. let's have a vote. if it passes, we will avoid the fiscal cliff. if it doesn't, we're no worse off than we are right now in trying to find another alternative. >> congressman, i want to ask you a question and throw the ball forward a little bit. once we fingers crossed get over the cliff, i'm really interested in the republican party and what the policy solutions are and what the policy answers to the shrinking of the middle class, to inequality, to the really big picture growth questions in this country that are going to continue on. so far the answers have been tax cuts, but trickle down hasn't been working for some time. i wonder what you think about that and how that will unfold. >> that's a critical question, and i was listening to your
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earlier conversation. the dpakt of the matter is there's a powerful segment among the house republicans who just want to totally ignore the outcome of the past laekdzs. it's one thing to disagree on policy and another thing to try and use your power to simply obstruct the process. we see people that want to obstruct the process. speaker bayne her is giving them the power to do that. he empowered the most extreme elements of his caucus bit having this artificial rule. as a result i'm very concerned as we approach the debt ceiling limit and to invest in our future competitiveness both in terms of investment in our insfra structure, in our education and research. our ability to get -- >> how does that accomplish those goals? the tax hikes is a couple days of operating income, butt it's
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petty cash. with when do we solve the real problem? the average median household has 311,000 more in medicare than they pay in their lifetime. how do you fix that? >> as you know, the president had aproposal to do 4.2 difficult onin deficit reduction and 12.2 trillion in revenue and cuts if you include the interest savings. that gets you a long way along with the trillion dollars in cuts we did. at least it would stabilize the situation. as you know, the president put on the table lots of things that created a lot of people -- a lot of pain within the house democratic caucus. there are lots of things you put on the table that people don't like. the point is that he was willing to meet speaker boehner halfway, and speaker boehner then walked out of those negotiations, tried to come up with his own plan,
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which his own colleagues voted down and recess the house so they're not here in washington to do the work of the country. >> with a smile on his face and a shine on his shoe facing another long, painful dashgs congressman. good luck. >> i hope we can put it together this afternoon. >> thank you for joining us. >> up next gene chats ski and what the potential could mean for your personal budget. morn joe is back in a moment. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science.
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here's this morning's key question. how will a failure in the fiscal cliff negotiations hit you at home? with you now is jean. let me give you my three economic indicators. >> okay. >> guinness, harp and bass don't count. >> i said three. those are four and five. the top three are, one, if you can find a space, parking space in a shopping mall. >> easy to do these days. >> two, grocery store lines. check out what kind of food people are buy. if they're buying high-end items in the grocery line. and three, lottery tickets and
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people ahead of you are buying lottery tickets, if they're buying a lot of $2 tickets it means we're in a funk. >> we're in a funk. the folks at bank rate did a survey and about a third say they're spending less because of the cliff. it's the same reason that we saw the fall in consumer confidence numbers so significantly yesterday. >> can you make a counterargument that not spending a whole lot money right now because of a lack of confidence or trepidation about what might happen in washington and saving that money, that might be a good thing? saving is not a bad thing. >> save sging is a great thing. the fact consumers are paying down the credit card debt, you get no arguments from me. >> although, jean the paradox of thrift, right? it's great to save, but saving crushes the economy because you're not spending. >> i totally agree with you. you have to look at athe economy in general, the but your own individual household, and i
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think protect yourself. the problem is the economy is doing okay right now. if we look at housing, if we look at unemployment, all of the indicators are actually heading in the right direction. it's this confidence crisis that's sending the markets up and down on a daily basis. >> do you think that this is partially about people really thinking about tax hikes, too. i'm looking back to the last time we were at it this juncture in august of 2011 when there was the debate about the debt ceiling and confidence went down then about 30%. spending actually didn't go down, and the economy wasn't so much morre robust at that point. >> you have 125 million people who knkow they will see less in their pay economchecks as far a payroll tax hike of this fiscal cliff negotiation is concerned. both the republicans and democrats seem very inclined to allow payroll taxes to go back up for people who earn $50,000 a year. that's $1,000 less they will
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take home next year, and that's real money. >> the perception is they're doing that to help those zillion nares and billionaires at the top. i mean, to add to the pain is why you may be facing the pain is for people that have no pain might have a little less pain even more. i mean, it's incredible. you know, yes, it's good to say, but saving for a rainy day is good for those not drenched with the rain. you talk about people in the rain that are going to suffer who has this whole sermon that we hear from washington of shared sacrifice when we didn't have shared prosperity. >> absolutely. but those people who actually are trying to save right now, we've got a whole enormous sector that has absolutely no rainy it day fund whatsoever. half of the americans are financially fragile.
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they couldn't come up with 2,000 if they needed to come up with it without selling belongings or taking out a payday loan or going to a desperate measures. to argue that those people shouldn't save is a big mistake. >> absolutely. >> gin that we have an economy 70% consumer spending, how can we have a scenability recovery when you have stats like that, half population doesn't have $2,000 in the the pockets. >> i think athat's why the recovery so so anemic and nobody predicts we'll have a robust recovery. we'll have a slow slide. >> i'll give you my view, okay, which is let's not forget the fiscal cliff takes us back to the clinton era tax rates. i remember a lot of people on this network saying how great it was back then. we're going back to the clinton era tax rates and we boom then. the reason it didn't pinch us then, now it's deem and then it
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was great. i think the difference is the economy was improving, incomes were going up, housing prices were going up, people felt better. home prices are going up. that's a good thing, and the income issue is where we need to solve the problem. >> that's right. >> people can handle higher taxes if they make more money. part of that -- i'm going to get preachy here, reverend. the american people have to make a decision about what's important. keeping your neighbors employed. i know cost matters to a lot of people. my parents poet grew up poor. look the at what you buying if it koths made in mechanic and kips your neighbor working at a higher wage at a u.s. facility, think about that decision you're pak maiking. there's no country in the world -- sorry i'm off on a tangent. there's no country in the world where wages are high but goods are sold cheaply. you can't have both.
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>> it's been stagnant in the last decade. incomes haven't gone up for a decade. >> it's longer than a decade. here's the deal on this. this will be solved, the fiscal cliff will be a figment of memory within two or three months hope willfully. what will be with us and has been with us isn't the end of world war ii, is tlarz a group of people and families in this country chronically left behind. chronically left behind. part of it is the culture, the accelerated culture we live in. okay, fine. i got my pay economic and the tax is held to a minimum and everything like that. there are people in this country who for reasons very little of their own responsibility are born poor and stay poor. >> 507 people graduated from my high school in rural virginia. 10% of us went to college. what do the other ones do when
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they need good jobs. the culture of cheap in this country needs to ep end. >> i agree with you as a graduate of west virginia high school where the percentages were about the same. >> my apologies. >> where are you from? >> wleheeling, west virginia. >> you graduated from high school? >> yes, sir. >> good. >> offense uppive. do you like that? >> elitist. >> jean, thanks very much. still ahead on "morning joe," the doctor is in. we have need-to-know information how the new health care law impacts how they do things. from try jump yumps to scandals, a look back at columns from around the country. keep it right here on "morning joe." [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust.
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wow, this is huge. reverend al coming up, your second annual revy awards this monday new year's eve. >> monday, 6:00 eastern. we do a review of the year and get all dressed up and have a panel. we're not dressed up now? >> this is like oscar night when we talk about who did what in the politics and the winners and losers. year. it's really classy and humorous. >> how many winners as opposed to losers? >> there's an equal amount. we review it and are candid and we do it in a classy way. >> some of the winners are losers? >> some of the losers are winners but only those that watch will know for sure. >> that was a hell of a tease, reverend. that was really good. >> we're going to watch the revvie awards at 6:00 p.m. eastern. coming up next, we pause from
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the stories of day to remember those we lost in 2012. "morning joe" will be right back. ff vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit,
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2012, we wanted to take a few moments to remember the big names who passed away this year. nbc nightly news put together this tribute. ♪ and i will always love you
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♪ will always love you ♪ >> ma, leave me alone! >> mr. president. >> survey says. >> you have succeeded in becoming the perfect neighbor. >> what is the sesame street number of the day? >> ha, ha, ha, ha.
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♪ ♪ we're moving on up to the east side ♪ >> yes, yes, yes! >> i'll have what she's having. ♪ at last ♪ my love has come along ♪ my lonely days are over ♪ and life is like a song ♪ oh yeah yeah at last
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♪ the stars above are blue ♪ let's dance let's dance tonight ♪ ♪ staying alive staying alive >> peace and love. >> hottest dance sensation in the last four years. >> biggest party in the world, new year's eve in times square. ♪ >> can we all get along? ♪
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♪ daydream believer and a homecoming queen ♪ ♪ moon river wider than a mile >> it's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> liftoff. and america's first woman astronaut. >> come home, america. come home to the affirmation that we have a dream.
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>> may i ask my question, >> may i ask my question, please, sir? well, if it isn't mr. margin.
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mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question.
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it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. it's an awesome responsibility. i know right now i have the lives of over 150,000 americans,
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men and women, in my hands. i don't want to make a mistake. but i'm human, and i recognize that i might. and i worry about that. regardless of the outcome, when this whole thing is over, i can still say to myself, you can gave it your best shot, then that's got to be enough. >> morning. it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. on the west coast as you take a look at new york city. back with us on set, brian sullivan. fortune magazine's leigh gallagher, reverend al sharpton, and richard wolffe in washington. obviously, that was general norman schwarzkopf on the screen who passed away yesterday. i have a lasting memory of
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general schwarzkopf who served in the war in vietnam as well as obviously gulf storm i. there was a woman from iowa, her name was peg mullan. she wrote a book about the death of her son, michael mullen. the name of the book was "friendly fire." and norman schwarzkopf was the battalion commander, then a kernconcer colonel, and she was so approachable to peg mullan, so human in his relations with peg mullan to sought to find out how her son was killed in vietnam. he died from friendly fire, which means he was killed in the confines of his own unit from shrapnel from american weapons fired, but it was so impressive to read about then the colonel, later to become norman
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schwarzkopf general, "time's" man of the year, so human. and just that clip we showed right then, compared to a lot of military officials who we see on tv, an actual human being who could emote. i hope i don't make a mistake, things like that. interesting, at least to me. >> very interesting. i grew up. i was in high school, part of the anti-vietnam protests, so he was a symbol, but you always kind of respected him. as you grew older, you learn that you can politically differ and still respect the man. he was the kind of man who would give you that kind of feeling and stature you would not get from a lot of generals. but also seemed to have a more human side. >> i agree with you. we'll have colonel jack jacobs who is going to join us in a bit. colonel jacobs knew schwarzkopf well, and he'll be joining us on the phone.
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unfortunately, we now deal with incompetence. this afternoon, president obama will sit down with leaders for a last ditch effort to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. the hope is both sides can come to a compromise. but judging from the rhetoric on capitol hill, there's still a long way to go. here's your day on the hill. >> if we go over the cliff, we'll be left with a mess that could have been prevented with a single vote in a republican-controlled house of representatives. the american people, i don't think, understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to
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write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> it is somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, i'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what i want done. you don't want to shoot your child. there's no republican leader who wants to default on our debt that i have talked to, so that ought to be nonpartisan. >> i actually think there's still a chance to get something done, and so, you know, these deals usually come together at the last moment. that's what happens in the budget deal, the debt ceiling deal. >> why are you cautiously optimistic when it seems everyone else is saying we're going to go over the cliff? >> to paraphrase ronald reagan, there's so much manure here, there must be a pony some place. but at the end of the day,
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common sense takes over. >> richard rofl, you're in washington, d.c., the capital of incompetence this morning. senator reid used a phrase that has nothing to do with being a republican or a democrat at that stage, i think, for a lot of people. the phrase he used is the american people don't understand, blah, blah, blah, what is going on. the american people, i would submit, don't understand how these people cannot do their job that they are elected to do. i'm wondering, what is your take on what is going on in washington because you're sitting in washington. >> right. if we have bipartisan agreement that it's all nuts. everyone agrees it's ridiculous. in spite of what they say, they have been talking about it for months, they have been talking about it for years. there was ample talk about what the framework should be through the election. there has been plenty of debate. to tie the two stories we were talking about together, there was a powell doctrine that general schwarzkopf executed so
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well in the first gulf war, which was have an exit strategy and use overwhelming force. the congress had an exit strategy, they had the idea of overwhelming force. they set themselves these limits. if they got through the deadline, the pain would be so great on themselves, this was all self-imposed, they would find a way out. they have not been able to execute their own strategy, they have not been able to vote for their own leadership. what you have in washington, just to take a step back, what you have in washington is fundamentally a republican party at war with itself. you have democrats who feel they don't need to negotiate because they won an election. while both of those situations may be understandable, the system has broken down fundamentally. we have to go over the cliff, we have to see taxes rise, and then maybe, maybe they'll understand that they're working for the american people and not for themselves. >> i don't think that's going to happen, but according to a recent study, the fiscal cliff
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gridlock in washington is taking a toll on the nation's consumer confidence. a new survey shows consumer confidence levels in the first half of december falling to the lowest levels since august. an unexpectedly sharp decline. they indicate consumer anxiety stems from worries about the country's fiscal future, not from the current state of the economy. let me ask you, you get around a lot, you see a lot of people. does anyone say what is the story on the fiscal cliff, or do they say, can you believe the bozos in washington? >> the bozos in washington is what i'm more often asked about. what really bothers me is when you look at the fact that people are depending on unemployment insurance, people worried about pay roll taxes going up, and everyone acts like, well, that's not a big thing. there will not be an immediate impact. there will be some immediate impact for some people. which is why you have consumer confidence down.
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then there's investors and people who are dealing with the nation's debt ceiling. i'm increasing my interest because these guys can't run a government. you're looking toward going to a recession while we're playing politic s in washington. this is very serious. this is not just beltway rhetoric here. i think people need to understand to the point of calling their congressional representative in outrage today, saying we should not be at this point. they're playing politics with the actual livelihood of families. this is not something that -- it would be all right a week or two or three or four. we start going down the cliff, we don't know whether the momentum downward is going to be very, very damaging. >> yeah. maybe. >> you have that smirk on your face. >> well, maybe. i agree with the reverend that they're playing politics with livelihoods because it is a huge risk. you're right about that. i disagree a little bit on the sort of dramatic immediate
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impact of it. what we could get -- this is a responsibility, what we could get. i'm just trying to be optimistic because it's toward the end of the year and it's been a crummy year for a lot of people. we could get a deal in the third week of january where they could retroactively change it. if you get paid weekly, you might get one or two paychecks with a slight tax increase, but then you would get it back at the end of the year. that's what we can hope for. we don't want to say midnight on 2013 we're doomed and let's stop spending. even if we go over the january 1st deadline, let's hope they make a deal and we're able to make it retroactive. >> what about the unemployment check in january? >> i don't think there's a risk of being cut off. and again, i'm being optimistic and i hope i'm right, which is we'll get a deal on that part and the tax part. then we can focus on spending
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and some of the other stuff. >> how do we know it's going to be weeks and not months? the basic facts are not going to change. >> we have a lot of things, to the reverend's point, we have to get done. otherwise you're going to see the rating agencies whacking our credit even more. >> never mind the rating agencies, when it comes to the debt limit, every six months to a year we go through the charade with the debt limit. the impact that's having on wall street, on the stock market, on people in business who look that these fools in washington, no one can run their business the way they run the business of the government. it takes a terrible toll on us. >> that's true. if d.c. was a private corporation, it would have been bankrupt and extinct a long time ago. >> if it was a private corporation, noerbody would hav needed to worry about re-election. there's going to be an
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overwhelming force, which is a drop in the stock market. that may be what finally gives us the urgency. remember back to september of 2008 when the house failed to pass the t.a.r.p. deal. we had a 700 point drop. i'm not saying that's going to happen, but given all this build-up, it's really shifted from business, from ceos to consumers. that's what we're seeing right now. now it's in the mass populous. >> i want your audience to get a cup of coffee, particular starbucks, but i'm going to bore you for the next 20 seconds. there used to be what they called the bond aage land, basically, the bond market was bigger than the debt market, and when things would get out of whack, the bond market would come in and fix it. it would sell u.s. debt, force change that way. now the federal reserfrserve ow
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most of our debt. so the bond vigilantes have been neuters. that alters how the market moves on things like that. >> that was a very clear way to explain that. >> now everybody can go back sleep. you're welcome. >> is jack jacobs on the phone? let's take a pause from the b d bonds. >> i put colonel jacobs to sleep. >> colonel jack jacobs joins us. as we indicated earlier in the show, longtime friend. so sometime underling of general schwarzkopf. i was indicating the impact that general schwarzkopf had on me that a woman called peg mullan wrote about about her son, and
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general schwarzkopf was the battalion commander and then a general, and he was so human, so approachable to mrs. mullan, that she wrote this book. he was so impressive. tell us your thoughts and memories of general schwarzkopf. >> i first met him when he was a major and i was a lieutenant. i had an unpleasant experience with him during which i was trying to exercise my authority and responsibility. and he was a higher ranking guy, told me no, i wasn't going to do it, and i lost it. but it was a fair fight even though he is three times my size. but he was a really tough guy. one of the interesting things about him that is unfortunately not practiced frequently in the military or anywhere else, by the way, is that he always led from the front.
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sometimes recklessly. and mistakes that we all make in combat from time to time, and we've all made our share, him included, is that we have a tendency to miscalculate. we go left instead of right. we wait too long, we don't wait long enough for information. and he made mistakes like that, too. but you could never accuse norman schwarzkopf sitting back and letting other people do the work. all the time i knew him, he led from the front. one characteristic that he -- he tried to teach all the people who worked for him. most of the time, successfully. the second characteristic he had that is also infrequently acquired by people, both in the military, in government, in business, is that he worked very hard to surround himself with
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the best people he possibly could. a lot of people don't do that, didn't do that. they were afraid that they would in comparison, look weak or inept. schwarzkopf's concept is you had to do the best job you possibly can. and if there were people around you, subordinate to you who looked better than you did, looked smarter than you did, that was just fine as long as they told you, the commander, the truth, and got you to do the best job you possibly can. >> jack jacobs, colonel jack jac jacobs, thank you for joining us. >> hospitals under obama care now have an incentive to fix patients for good. we look at a lesser known part of the health care law, and later, brian sullivan takes us through his top business stories of 2012. can't wait for that.
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first, here's dylan with a check of the forecast. >> we're talking about another winter storm in the northeast this weekend, but it's a minor storm. winter weather advisories are posted across the northeast, stretching all the way back into areas like arkansas, but this whole storm system is going to stay mostly to the south of new england. there it is back across arkansas, bringing rain into western tennessee and through louisiana and mississippi as well. eventually, though, it is going to bring a rain/snow mix to portions of cape cod, into southern rhode island and the eastern tip of long island. southern new jersey will see rain, too. the area in purple is where we could end up with 3 to 5 inches of snow. in the north, we're looking pretty good. sunshine before the snow works in on saturday morning. the rest of the country, 32 for a high in kansas city. that's a look at your forecast. you're looking at "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again.
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my name is lisa. i'm one of the nurse practitioners here. how are you? >> very well, thank you. >> i'm here to see you because you came up on a special list. >> a special list of what? >> you're a special list of patients, to tell you the truth, medicare is now looking at this very closely. >> there's a new program here at robert wood johnson university hospital in new brunswick
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university and many hospitals around the country. it targets patients who the hospital calls a frequent flier. that's because she keeps coming back. >> that was a clip of tonight's new episode of "need to know" which takes a look at the penalties hospitals face when patients return to their care within 30 days of being discharged. joining us now, need to know medical correspondent, dr. emily senay. rana foroohar, and richard wolffe is still here. you're hanging in there. the whole thing, the affordable care act has been passed. the complexities of health care today are almost enough to make you want to, even if you're sick, to stay away from a doctor or a hospital. >> you know, i understand that. but i think if you go down to
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the very basics of what's at the heart of these new efforts, including the one we talk about in this "need to know" piece is asking different questions. and rewarding people in the health care industry for different actions rather than saying, how many did you do? the question becomes how well did you do? second to that, even more importantly, how well did the patient do? if you change your yardstick, if you will, you can sort of revolutionize health care. that's what's happening. that's what we're seeing unfold. this effort in hospitals to prevent people from coming back to the hospital within 30 days, not saying it's perfect, but it's one effort to sort of change the questions that we're asking. what we're rewarding the system for. >> okay, but let's talk about that yardstick you just mentioned. we saw one 84-year-old patient and perhaps another patient who looked to be in her 90s.
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there's no much of an element of surprise they're coming back to the hospital at that age within 30 days, 60 days, is there? >> not really, except we do have evidence that you can prevent many types of readmissions by sort of changing the way you take care of people. not only in the hospital but more importantly at the handoff when they leave the hospital. things go bad in medicine when you're turning over, when you're shifting information from one setting to another. and that's what this is trying to do, to move that information out into the community so that this lady is connected back to her community. she gets care in the community. nobody wants to come back to the hospital. i mean, that's not a good place to be. so it's shifting the strategies out into the community, making the handoff better, making sure they get care in the community so they don't have to come back no matter his age. >> richard wolffe is in washington where he's been under a doctor's care for the last hour and a half. go ahead.
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>> emily, we're now in the phase where the president's health care reforms are really coming into effect. what we're seeing, you know, talking about trying to control costs, what we're seeing in the first wave, at least in 2013, is this idea of health care exchanges empowering consumers, trying to shop around for better deals. a lot of republican governors are saying they don't want to have any part of it. how much of an impact on costs, especially for people buying insurance, how much of an impact would these exchanges have? you know much more about it than those of us who pretend to talk about it in washington. will it make a difference? will you miss it if you are in a state where a governor says i'm not going to put up an exchange. >> the federal government will put up an exchange in the state if the state refuses to do it. it really depends on where you are in the economic spectrum. if you're a person who had health insurance through your employer, none of this is going to have an impact on you except
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for how young or hold you are when you get health insurance, whether or not you can stay on your parents' health plan, those kinds of things. in terms of within the state, the exchanges are there to help people not who are insured right now, but those who are insured through other means. one of the things i'm wondering is where are we going to get to a system in this country that we have the best practices that you're talking about being shared nationally. this has always amazed me. i spent most of my career as a national correspondent, and i had two children in britain. it was seamless, you could be in london, anywhere, people knew all of your medical information. you had a sharing of information. it seems like that would have such a common use of scale. >> they are moving towards that. there are big efforts under way to create established networks, if you will, where people will have just that. they'll have a team of physicians. they'll have a network of physicians who all communicate with each other.
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again, it goes back to communication, something they do much better in other countries. >> can i bring up a very insensitive topic and maybe richard can address this? here we go, it's tough. the woman you profiles, the woman, 84 years old, okay. she's not going to get better better down the road. you mentioned the nhs. richard, we often talk about the beauty of the european health care system. you know as well as i do, it's difficult, in england, that woman would not have been treated. >> that's not true, i'm sorry, brian. >> she's too old to treat. too old to treat. i'm not saying it's right, but that's the rule in the uk. >> you could not be more wrong, brian. you need to get out more. my parents are getting old. i spent a lot of time the last year in the hospital with my mother, and i can tell you that the treatment they get is second to none. are there restrictions to the kinds of treatments? yes, they don't try and take on really experimental treatments unless you're in a trial, but
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most of the people i saw in a brand new hospital in my old home town of birmingham, they were getting first-class treatment, extremely expensive. and you know, you can argue about end of life care and was it worth it or not -- >> that's not what we're talking about. by the way, i guess the daily mail and telegraph are wrong. denied end of life care because too old to treat. >> this lady is not at the end of her life. >> i'm not talking about that woman. i'm raising a difficult issue. >> they are wrong, and they're being really alarmist because they get lots of attention for it. but people who are facing, you know, extreme -- the ends of their treatment of cancer, do they get treatment from the nhs? yes, they do. do they get the most experimental? no, they don't. that's why you see a lot of british patients coming to america for maybe drugs that haven't been approved or it costs too much for the nhs system to have.
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in the hospitals i have been to in my experience in the last year in britain are full of elderly people getting really high-class treatment. >> i want to chime in and say because i had this experience and i think it's really relevant. there is sort of a sensible attitude in europe and the uk about cost reduction. as i said, i had two children there. i had fantastic care, top quality care, up until the moment i had a healthy kid, and then that's where you start to see the cost cutting. you go into a room with 20 other people. that's okay, if that means everybody can have their pregnancy paid for, that's a great tradeoff. >> let me ask you a real time question here in the united states of america. we'll use my mother as an example. she lived to be 94 years of age. the last year of her life, she was fairly healthy until the last two or three months of her life when her pacemaker, problem with that, pneumonia, a stroke. she was back in the hospital on the average of every two weeks. i would take her back to the hospital.
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who gets penalized in a case like that? the hospital, the patient, who gets penalized? >> in this case, it would be the hospital. that's what's changing now. they're looking at ways to try to prevent people from continually coming back. this lady is not at the end of her life. she has some chronic conditions, but if you watch the piece, you'll see she does quite well at home, she has a life, she has families, friends, she puts on makeup. she's a very lively woman. she's not at the very end of her life. what they want to do is look at specific conditions where people are continually coming back and try to make sure they get the care in the community so they don't have to come back, which, by the way, is a cost saving. anytime you get admitted to the hospital, it's expensive. keeping people in the community is good for patients, if they get the correct care in the community, and it's cost effective. >> what are you saying? eventually we get to the point where we die at home? >> no, i think we're confusing two things here. people who are coming to the
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final stages of their life, that is really a separate category than what we're looking at in this piece. we're talking about people who are not terminal in the sense that the disease has progressed so far in most caisses, we're talking about end of life care. this lady has a chronic disease that needs to be managed better in the community. there are slightly different things and i understand why they get confused but they're different. this lady is not at the end of her life right now. >> that's certainly not what i was implying. 30% of medicare is spent in the last year of life. and there's quality of life issues. >> we need to get better at that conversation, in fact. >> don't bother having a conversation with him. he's basically an unfeeling person. >> i have learned that today. >> the new episode of "need to know" airs tonight on pbs. emily, thanks for joining us. coming up, the newspaper column. some say it's a lost art form,
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but there's really nothing better than a good column to crystallize a story. errol louis joins us next in his compilation of the best newspaper columns of all time. oh it's clearance time! yeah, our low prices are even lower. we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey? [ male announcer ] it's clearance time! up to 50% off seasonal decor. 50% off toys. apparel $3 to $9. walmart.
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joining us now, political anchor for new york one news,
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errol louis, co-editor of the book "scandals, triumphs and tragedies" this is the second volume. how do you go about assembling over the vast expanse of newspapers over the past 150 years, extracting columns to put in these books? >> well, we did not pretend that it was going to be scientific or comprehensive. my coedteres, jesse angelo and john avalon and i decided to look at what we liked and we k asked other people for their opinions. deadline.com, the website is up, and we have been taking opinions from people for years. we kind of went through some of the greatest names and asked for, you know, for people to take us outside the normal ones. there's a whole host, an embarrassment of riches, if you will, on the east coast. people like the mike barnicles of the boston globe. a ton of columnists for new
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york, boston, washington, d.c., but there are other places as well. we tried to keep an eye out for maybe people we hadn't heard of. >> like the los angeles times. >> wonderful, wonderful writer, pete dexter, and there are lot of people like andy rooney, who everybody thinks of as a tv guy, who wrote a column three days a week. >> in this volume, which is "scandals, tragedies and triumphs." read that brief excerpt. >> he's writing about a lot of the confusion and he's cutting through the confusion around the wmds and why we went to war in iraq. he says here, when i raised the mystery of the missing wmds recently, they fired a barrage of reproachable e-mails to me. but there are indications that the u.s. government souped up
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intelligence and leaned on spooks to change their conclusions and conceal contrary information to deceive people at home. >> the date? >> may 6, 2003. early and right. it doesn't get any better. >> do you think the first volume "deadline artist" and this is the second volume, as you go through the submissions and suggestions, do you think the art of column writing is a diminishing art in american newspapers? >> we think it's endangered. that's why we wanted to capture some of these stuff. i was a columnist for year s at the new york daily news. john avalon, an editor and columnist as well. we wanted to have something like this. we were shocked when we found out that it didn't exist. we would ask some of the older guys and you might fall into that category, frankly, but we would ask people, who were the great columnists. jack newfield, we asked him, jimmy breslin, these guys, and
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they would call out these names and we would find out this stuff was out of print, you couldn't find it. we realized we need to grab hold of this stuff before it all gets lost in a maze of twitter and social media. >> i'm curious, is there any connective tissue between the folks that you chose in terms of what makes a great columnist. was there anything they all do? >> if you wanted to sort of boil it down to elements, first of all, they're all on deadlines, hence the name "deadline artist." it matters. we really try to find stuff that is right on deadline. you're writing in 800 words so it has to be punchy. these are people who put themselves on the line. they go out and report. >> report. >> yes, unlike people now who call themselves columnist and they're reflecting cocktail party chatter from washington and new york, these are people who would go into war zones, they would talk to real people,
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go to the funerals, sit through the trials day after day after day and come up with absolute gems. >> that's expensive, sending people abroad to uk hospitals to investigate the british health care system is expensive. that's the challenge, even on our side, facing right now. >> if you read, if you look at the first book "deadline artists" and this the second volume, "scandals triumphs and tragedies" you realize one of the things missing today is the word yesterday, as written by columnists. there's a lot of op-ed columnists who write terrific pieces, and they'll write today for sunday, but the word yesterday, as in the subway f t platform, whoever got pushed off the platform yesterday, a slice of that event taken from a point of view of someone who was there, written by a columnist who had eye contact with that
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individual, that is missing. >> it's something that i think a lot of people would value if they could get more of it. it's one of those paradoxes where you give people a little taste of it, that's what this book is. we're counting on this to whet the appetite of readers, young columnists, who think they want to go into this field of letters and show them how good this field could be if your take time, take chances, put yourself on the line, maybe you do what margarete higgins did. go into a death camp, get the smell, talk to the people. it is expensive, but there are people who i think are thirsty for it now. >> if you want to wet your appetite and realize what you're missing in many newspapers, the book is "deadline artists, scandals, tragedies and triumphs." errol louis, thanks very much. up next, brian sullivan, who is right here, is going to take us through his top business stories of 2012.
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have you assembled them? >> i will in this commercial break. i will be a deadline artist. >> all right, we're going to be right back. ♪
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-[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you. well, this is indeed the moment that most of us have been waiting for. brian sullivan has been sitting here all morning long, charged with the task of coming up with the top two or three business stories, his business stories, which he deemed important, for the year 2012. go. >> well, i have a piece of paper in front of me. up fortunately, it's not there so i'm going to do it off the top of my head. top five, france. taxes are an issue there. i think the election of francois alaund and his rate on the top end as well as some of the other things he's doing in france,
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lowering the retirement age, this is sort of a litmus test in some ways and it's important. maybe richard can tell me i need to learn more about the british tax code. icons on the edge. a number of names you know at home, jcpenney, best buy stock has been hammered, the maker of the blackberry, once iconic, now struggling. >> they're gone. >> they're not gone. >> last one. congratulations. >> they're struggling, and i think it's the end of an era for some companies. the $25 billion bank settlement, a huge deal. some people said it was not enough. whatever your thoughts are, it was a big story. facebook, you remember them? they have come back in the last six weeks. everyone thought this was an ipo that was going to soar. >> who manages that company? >> mark zuckerberg. that guy right there. >> poorly, i would submit.
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>> he built it, so who are we to judge, right? maybe the public company is a different story, but that ipo flopped. that was a gigantic story. the most biggest -- drum roll, maybe i should go back to school, is apple. i hate to be boring and i know apple struggled in the last two months with the stock price, but they became the world's most valuable company. it's important if you're not an avid stock market viewer to realize that apple 20 years ago was on death's door. they were worth millions, not billions or trillions, millions of dollars. steve jobs had been cast out, he comes back in, reinvents the company. it's one of the greatest business success stories in the history of modern society if not longer. >> at one point, apple stock approached $700, right? now the stock is, what, near $600? >> yeah, likely because of capital gains. >> who can afford to buy the stock? >> studies have shown, mike, if
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you buy one share -- you have $500 to invest, you buy one share of a $500 company, you might not think you can make as much as buying ten shares of a $50 company, many studies show you can make just as much because it's $50 for a reason. >> buy one share. i'm not advising. >> where is the libor scandal story? a dozen banks. >> thanks a lot, by the way. >> apparently, my hatred of the uk helped. i didn't want to say libor. >> i know it's boring. >> because the antinm, bore. and i promised barnicle that i wasn't going to say fiscal cliff. i promised not to say it. i found other stories. and libor, i hear you. >> i love that story.
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terrible word. >> that's what we talk about, libor. in the real world, no. >> big deal. banks are doing all kinds of crazy things, still, four years after the crisis, and regulators are looking a different way. >> can you imagine being in his world, in brian's world? brian, good job. good job. you did that in a commercial break. very good, including with the graphics. we appreciate it. >> that's my show graphic, by the way. [ cellphon irping ] [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive.
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well, it is indeed time to talk about what we learned today. what did you learn today? >> i learned that wall street and washington are truly in parallel universes. markets don't think we're are rr going to go over the cliff, but it seems like we're going to. >> but they think on wall street, they don't think in washington. what did you learn today, big guy? >> i learned it has been with newtown, not to be too serious, but with sandy, with aurora, colorado, with so many other things, it's been a really tough year for a lot of people, and i learned that new year's eve is right around the corner, and here is to a fantastic 2013. >> that's right. i learned earlier today when we were talking about the british health care system and the
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american health care system, a lot of people may have felt that brian was basically saying to old people, get out of the way and die. >> it's a big deal. do your research. >> he was not. he was talking about the cost and maintenance and the constructive use of health care. >> come here, big guy. >> oh, my gosh. on-air hug. >> awful. >> i'll never wash this shirt again. >> chuck is next with "the rundown." have a great weekend.
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